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Family Life
Family Life

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Home & Organisation
Home & Organisation

Life & Wellbeing

Life & Wellbeing
Life & Wellbeing

How We're Encouraging Healthier Screen Time Habits With Our Boys

When it comes to screen time and the boys, I think we've been quite fortunate in that the boys have only very recently shown an interest in using the iPad or our phones and spending time on 'tech'. I say fortunate, not because I think screen time is in any way bad for children, I actually believe that if used in moderation it can often be quite educational and it can aid and encourage children to learn to use devices that will no doubt be a part of their lives and even possibly their careers when they're older. I mean fortunate in that we've not had to set restrictions or encounter battles to encourage them to use screen time in moderation.

But now that the boys are asking to use technology more often and showing such an interest in it, we've found ourselves feeling the need to set restrictions on the use of screens, as we know ourselves as adults, especially as we both spend a lot of time online for our jobs, just how easy it is to lose track of time whilst online.

Our Stay In Newquay, Cornwall At Hendra Holiday Park

A little while ago we were invited to Newquay, Cornwall to stay at Hendra Holiday Park for four nights and we absolutely jumped at the chance having heard and read amazing things about Hendra Holidays via Tripadvisor and other blogs where the reviews and photos of the park had also been amazing. 

Cornwall from where we are in Buckinghamshire is about 4 and half hours and the journey there last week was smooth as the boys are at a great age now where they will happily entertain themselves in the back until we get to where we are going. 

On arrival at Hendra the first thing I noticed was how lovely the park looked, there were beautiful colourful flowers everywhere and the park looked really clean and looked after. A member of staff was waiting outside the reception to greet the cars coming in and he ran us through what we needed to do to get our keys. Once we had our keys, we followed the map that we'd been given over to our static caravan which was a 3 bedroom Porthminster Premium and when we got inside we were all blown away by how incredibly lovely and spacious the caravan was. 

Summer Bucket List - 40 Things To Do With Your Kids During The Summer Holidays

With the school summer holidays in full swing, I thought it would be nice to sit down and share a few ideas I've had for things to do with children during the six-week break. 

I am the sort of parent who just has to have some sort of plan when it comes to having the boys home from school during the week to keep us all sane, so I've been writing down ideas in a notebook as they've popped into my head and have come up with a summer bucket list and 40 things to do with kids during the summer holidays. 

A lot of these are free to do or very inexpensive to do, so I hope you'll find a few things to add to your summer bucket list no matter your budget. 

Summer Bucket List - 40 Things To Do With Your Kids During The Summer Holidays

Introducing Henry Tudor - The First Week With Our New Kitten

silver tabby male kitten

We'd been talking for a while about getting another cat. I'm cat-mad so no amount of cats is ever too many for me, but as a cat-lover, I do understand and respect that cats are naturally quite solitary animals and they don't enjoy having their territory threatened. 

In an ideal world and thinking with my heart, I would have loved to have rescued another adult cat from a rescue centre, but my head knew that that wasn't really going to be fair on our current cats or the new cat. Plus with having two small children, I worried that a rescue cat would become nervous around them when they became noisy (which is 95% of the time!). ;) 

I knew that thinking on a practical level, a kitten was the right option for our family at the stage we are in our lives right now. A kitten wouldn't threaten our current cats' territory as much as an adult cat would. And the kitten would also grow up around the boys and learn very quickly that whilst they can be loud and our house can be crazy and chaotic at times, that that is actually nothing to fear or be afraid of. I also liked the idea that the boys would have a kitten that would grow with them and that they would learn to care for from its young age. 

And so, when I ran into my neighbour last week and she asked if I might be looking to re-home a kitten (her friends cat had accidentally got pregnant just before she was due to be spayed and she was trying to re-home the kittens for her), I guessed that maybe now was the right time to go back to having four cats again. When I went round to have a look, I knew I had to choose a confident kitten who would be brave enough to stand his ground with 3 grown cats and 2 young children and we knew that we wanted a male as we already have two females. And then I spotted (or rather he threw himself in front of me by repeatedly trying to make an escape from his crate) a little male silver tabby with a black nose and we knew he was the one.

Simple Happy Parenting

It's amazing how things can come into your life just as you need them, isn't it? For me recently, that thing was a book called Simple Happy Parenting, a book that has changed the way I think and now parent in more ways than one. 

On the front cover, the book promises to share the secret of less for calmer parents and happier kids and it begins with a really honest, completely relatable letter to the reader from the author - Mum of two Denaye Barahona who has a Ph.D in child development with a speciality in family wellness. She talks about how when she was pregnant she wanted to give her children the world (like most parents do) and that this to her meant more love, more protection, more toys, more opportunities - more, more, more, but how then this desire to give her children more left her feeling less.. Less energy, less joy, less calm - something I can totally relate to in my own parenting.

She goes on to write that she hopes that we, her readers find inspiration from her book and that we take away tools and bits of advice that are useful to us and leave anything that doesn't suit our families. She reassuringly says that we'll never fit any perfectly shaped box or any expert-defined parenting philosophy and it's obvious even before the first chapter has begun that this isn't going to be a book that makes you feel that you have to parent a certain way or else feel like you're not getting it right. This is a book written by a Mum, who understands that parents and children and families as a whole are all different and celebrates parents for being the best they can be, rather than striving for an unrealistic 'perfect'. 

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The Personalised Nursery Rhymes Book from In The

*Guest post 

Nursery rhymes have been bewitching us for centuries. A catchy rhyming tune could illuminate forgotten traditions of the Victorian era or shed some light on British history. As children grow older, the popularity of nursery rhymes dwindles with a new passing craze. But this only makes nursery rhymes all the more enchanting whenever we hear the melodic tunes of kids singing them. 

For the most popular rhymes, nostalgia has a big part to play behind the reasons why some rhymes have stood the test of time. In a classroom, nursery rhymes are sung and shared and at home, parents sing to their children to lull them to sleep. The nursery rhymes attach themselves to strands of our youth, our most innocent years, and with it, weave the fabric of our childhood memories.

Returning to Hever Castle - A True Tudor Gem And a Wonderful Family Day Out

Hever Castle Day Out With kids, Hever Castle, Hever castle family day out,

**We paid to visit Hever Castle ourselves and all words and opinions are entirely our own, as always.

Last weekend we decided to take our boys to Hever Castle in Kent, a place we fell in love with two years ago when we stayed there for our wedding anniversary. Hever Castle if you don't already know was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII and previous Queen of England and as you'll know if you are a regular reader of my blog, I am utterly obsessed with royal English history, particularly the Tudor era - Hever Castle, therefore, is a pure slice of heaven to me.

There's something about Hever Castle, even besides the connection to Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII, it's hard to put into words, but it really is one of the most romantic places I've ever visited. The grounds and the gardens are just exquisite - there's so much to explore, see and do in the grounds, for all ages. And the castle itself is simply majestic, personally, I love that the castle isn't huge, though when I say that I don't mean it's small, because I'd still get lost in there within the many rooms and the different corridors, but it's not overpoweringly big. It's modest but still magnificently charming. 
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